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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default Friendships with NTs

    A questions for you: How do I go about a friendship with an NT?

    Y'all are notoriously difficult to read and sometimes I can't tell whether I should proceed or not. I wrote in the ENFJ thread about how I had a blossoming friendship with an INTJ but then he left and our communications switched formats from face-to-face to emails. Because I wasn't getting any real-time input, it kinda petered out. I didn't want to be annoying and I didn't know if my persistence was welcomed.

    What kind of feedback can I expect from an NT to know that you want to be friends? I'm going to be honest about this, I'm an NF with lots of Fe and I strongly believe in the fine art of COMPROMISE. If I give a little, you've got to give a little. How can I have a mutually satisfying friendship with an NT without a bunch of hurt feelings (on both sides) and miscommunications?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Oh gee. Well, it will depend partly on the type of NT -- all four express themselves a little differently. (J/P makes a difference, as does I/E.)

    For example, as an I, I have trouble with ENTPs via long-distance friendships -- they read my lack of periodic communication/e-mail as not wanting to be friendly, while to me it's just... business as usual and says nothing really about my intentions.

    [An ENTP here and I were just talking the other day, and weren't sure how to read each other in this regard, he thought I didn't want to hear from him because I hadn't initiated an exchange and was trying to give me space, whereas I figured he just had nothing to say because he wasn't writing.]

    And J/P creates some differences. P's are much more flexible in their correspondence and tend to react to things, J's will more often direct their communications and have specific intent.

    Personally, I think NF's aren't pushy enough in their personal online exchanges because they're afraid of intruding and are trying too hard to be sensitive. Usually an NT will tell you if you're overstepping your bounds, IF they think that they need to say something.

    (And even if they're a little internally irritated, if they choose not to say something, you don't need to worry about it -- because the NT has decided it is not worth saying something and has taken responsibility for it.)

    So don't worry so much about it. If you piss off an NT or they become irritated and think it needs to be discussed, you'll probably hear about. INTPs might try to withdraw, but other than that...?

    You will see that with the J/P thing too. J's, not always but probably, will be more direct in telling you exactly what they want or are thinking; P's will probably "flex" around you and hint at things, since they're not quite committed to a confrontation.

    I could probably throw in much more random detail right now, but I'm going to stop here for the moment. I'm sorry it's not as comprehensive a response as I had hoped to give... But someone else can take a different spin on it or flesh it out.
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  3. #3
    shoshaku jushaku rivercrow's Avatar
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    I have an ENTP friend who is too busy to call or return calls/emails. Forget letters. Every now & then, we collide on chat. I think I make more attempts at contact than she does.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I dunno about online, cos I tend not to really think of the internet as a place to make proper friendships, since you can only ever know of the person what they choose to reveal, and can't get the wider perspective of the points of view of others in their life, on the way they act and things they do/say. I'm usually open to initiating an acquaintance via the internet, but if I'm interested in the person and consider them friendship material, I'll quickly want to make it more 'real', such as meeting up, or phoning if distance forbids meeting, and exchanging addresses so we can send each other postcards, random gifts and stuff. If someone gets all internet-paranoid on me and refuses to take the acquaintance outside of the board/blog/whatever, or won't even give me their real first name, I take that as a rejection, basically, and will try not to bother them any more even if I'm disappointed.

    I tend to be quite self-conscious of talking too much, and know I can fall into it easily, so I value it when people are willing to interrupt me or tell me to shut up or whatever, rather than 'stoically' listening, whilst bored or irritated and wishing I'd shut up. And if I appear to be talking a load of shit, don't be afraid to say so, because I'm far less attached to the things I say than I can sometimes appear, and I value and appreciate people who'll help me sort the wheat from the chaff of my ideas.

    I also can't stand it when people play mind games, which I find happens with some NF's - they try to provoke me into some kind of 'dance' for them, which intended for them to use their tremendous intuition to interpret my behaviour. I'd rather they just asked me out, directly, if there was something they wanted to know about me, and I'll always answer honestly. If I sense someone's trying to play mind games, it annoys me and I'll just ignore them until they can treat me like a human and not a lab rat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Personally, I think NF's aren't pushy enough in their personal online exchanges because they're afraid of intruding and are trying too hard to be sensitive. Usually an NT will tell you if you're overstepping your bounds, IF they think that they need to say something.
    I agree very much with this. I do get very frustrated with people who don't understand that if I have a problem, I will let them know, and that I'd rather they erred on the side of inquisitiveness, than kept their needs to themselves.

    If I invite someone to 'stuff' (anything from coffee/lunch to concerts), it means I like them, cos I'm voluntarily choosing to spend time with them when I don't have to. Basically if I'm talking with you about anything non-business related, it's a sign that I'm open to getting closer. Then again, if I'm showing a desire to involve you in my 'plots', it means I've a high regard for your ability and personal qualities, and think you'd be pleasant to work with.

    And I'm talking too much again, as usual, so I'll leave it there
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  5. #5
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Speaking as an INTJ had a relationship switched primarily to emails it wouldn't be because I was not interested or was trying to distance myself. I'd rather email than be on the phone; email's a preferred method of communication for me because it lets me be in control of when I interact. I'm guessing if you'd mentioned the issue to him he would have been quite surprized.

    You've and advantage, you know you're dealing with an NT. I'd suggest once it gets to the point in a new relationship where you feel it's reasonable to do so, explain how you feel. If I know what you're like and how you behave (and what you prefer and dislike) then I know how to behave and what to expect from you.

  6. #6
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    If an INTJ voluntarily spends time with you, he likes you. We're simple to understand in that respect. And believe me, if you're bugging us, you'll know. Speaking from personal experience, people's quirks and foibles generally don't bother me. In fact, if I do bother to vocalize my dislike for another person's activities or whatever it may be, I probably really like that person because otherwise I would just decide their cons as a human being outweighed their pros and terminate the relationship.

  7. #7
    Guerilla Urbanist Brendan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    A questions for you: How do I go about a friendship with an NT?

    Y'all are notoriously difficult to read and sometimes I can't tell whether I should proceed or not. I wrote in the ENFJ thread about how I had a blossoming friendship with an INTJ but then he left and our communications switched formats from face-to-face to emails. Because I wasn't getting any real-time input, it kinda petered out. I didn't want to be annoying and I didn't know if my persistence was welcomed.

    What kind of feedback can I expect from an NT to know that you want to be friends? I'm going to be honest about this, I'm an NF with lots of Fe and I strongly believe in the fine art of COMPROMISE. If I give a little, you've got to give a little. How can I have a mutually satisfying friendship with an NT without a bunch of hurt feelings (on both sides) and miscommunications?

    Thanks!
    I've had two best friends. Both were NT's. It just comes naturally. Just seems to fit. Especially if you're talking about an NTJ.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Don't assume you are worth being friends with.

    That doesn't mean you are disliked, only that time is a scarce resource with alternative uses, and any friendship requires a large investment of time to cultivate. It may be that you have to do all the compromising if you want that person in your life, since if you start asking them to compromise they will suddenly discover activities more worth their time.

    If you persist in this one-sided relationship, they may eventually begin to see you as a friend and reciprocate the compromises, but don't bet on it.
    Last edited by reason; 06-17-2007 at 08:29 AM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    A questions for you: How do I go about a friendship with an NT?

    Y'all are notoriously difficult to read and sometimes I can't tell whether I should proceed or not. I wrote in the ENFJ thread about how I had a blossoming friendship with an INTJ but then he left and our communications switched formats from face-to-face to emails. Because I wasn't getting any real-time input, it kinda petered out. I didn't want to be annoying and I didn't know if my persistence was welcomed.

    What kind of feedback can I expect from an NT to know that you want to be friends? I'm going to be honest about this, I'm an NF with lots of Fe and I strongly believe in the fine art of COMPROMISE. If I give a little, you've got to give a little. How can I have a mutually satisfying friendship with an NT without a bunch of hurt feelings (on both sides) and miscommunications?

    Thanks!
    Speaking from my own experience as an INTP you just cannot rely on conventional methods of understanding what we are thinking - it just doesn't work!!! We may not appear to be interested in maintaining a friendship ie not writing emails etc but this is mainly because we don't feel like we have anything important to say. I think this is especially true of INTP/J, of which it has often been said just live in their own little world's and really don't care about social graces and the like.

    I think as it has been previously stated if it appears to be going fine in real life, in reference to the INTJ example that you gave, they probably don't mind spending time with you. Speaking from my own experience you just have to persevere - we will initiate gatherings, social get-together's etc if we enjoy spending time with you - it just won't happen very often.

    On the compromise idea(l) - you are just going to have to deal with it if you really want to have a meaningful friendship. Yes I know that it isn't really fair, but most of us (INTP/J generalisation alert!) really just aren't all that crash hot in dealing with social matters. If you are worried about intruding or the like - just let us socialise on our own terms, but expect this to be fairly rare. What I think would be the best would just you organise/maintain the social gatherings, communication whatever.

    A disclaimer for this post would be that it only really applies to NT introverts and probably not extroverts. It could also have the problem of some large generalisations - it is only really my opinion per se.

  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nocturne View Post
    Don't assume you are worth being friends with.

    That doesn't mean you are disliked, only that time is a scarce resource with alternative uses, and any friendship requires a large investment of time to cultivate. It may be that you have to do all the compromising if you want that person in your life, since if you start asking them to compromise they will suddenly discover activities more worth their time.

    If you persist in this one-sided relationship, they may eventually begin to see you as a friend and reciprocate the compromises, but don't bet on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by themadness View Post
    On the compromise idea(l) - you are just going to have to deal with it if you really want to have a meaningful friendship. Yes I know that it isn't really fair, but most of us (INTP/J generalisation alert!) really just aren't all that crash hot in dealing with social matters. If you are worried about intruding or the like - just let us socialise on our own terms, but expect this to be fairly rare. What I think would be the best would just you organise/maintain the social gatherings, communication whatever.

    A disclaimer for this post would be that it only really applies to NT introverts and probably not extroverts. It could also have the problem of some large generalisations - it is only really my opinion per se.
    This uncompromising stuff I'm hearing is very scary. Is there no middle ground? I predict some serious game playing in the future if I'm always the one compromising. Does this not strike you all as unequal? What kind of meaningful relationship is that?

    This reminds me of a conversation I was having with someone about how the best relationships are 51/49 because one person has always got to be more forgiving than another. I balked at that notion very much.

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